Facebook Messenger Kids App Gets Sleep Mode Parental Control

New You Tube Kids tools to help parents control content

"We took this feedback to heart and built a feature that gives that level of control to parents", Tarunya Govindarajan, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post late Friday.

Parents have told us that they like how Messenger Kids allows them to fully control the contact list and check in on their child's messaging as they're learning to navigate the digital world.

During those "off times", the kids will not be able to send or receive messages in the chat app, play with the camera, engage in video calls or receive any sort of notifications of the app.

The new feature will allow parents to set designated start and stop times for when the app will go to "sleep". For example, a good use of this feature would be during the study hours or dinner time, etc. The mode is controlled from the Parent Control centre in the parent's Facebook account and the "off times" can be changed at any time.

Parents can now block access to the app during certain time periods on specific days. If a kid does try to open the app, it will let them know it's now in sleep mode and refuse access.

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Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been under the radar ever since the social network's disclosure that 87 million of its users' information was wrongly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political targeting firm. After tapping on the name of the child, you'll need to tap on "Sleep Mode" in the App Controls. Still, some parents found disturbing videos were making it into the app and were viewable because they were not caught by the human curators. You can set different times for weekdays versus weekends.

It's been almost five months since Facebook launched the child-focused Messenger Kids.

What do you think of the idea of Messenger Kids in general?

Since its launch in December 2017, Messenger Kids is facing widespread criticism for encouraging children to join social media.

With new features such as sleep mode, it appears Facebook is pursuing parental appeasement as a means to getting more kids into the Facebook ecosystem at a younger age. Parents can also delete the account or create a new account for the Kids within the same environment.

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